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Get to Know More about The Concept of Wellness Tourism

Increasingly popular, understanding wellness tourism and various accommodation supports must benefit various parties, including nature which is the tourist destination itself.


Healing tourism has recently become a tourism concept that is increasingly popular along with the increasing trend of healthy living. Through this concept, tourism is no longer limited to traveling to entertain oneself, enjoying attractions or tasting culinary delights, but also to gain physical and spiritual experiences.


Various tourist destinations also provide activity options to accommodate these needs, such as spas, meditation, yoga, retreats and various physical activities in nature, such as hiking, rafting or cycling. All of these activities are categorized as wellness tourism. However, what is the true meaning of wellness tourism?


What is Wellness Tourism?

According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism is tourism that aims to maintain or improve personal well-being which involves various aspects ranging from physical, mental, spiritual or environmental.


According to their data, in 2019 the wellness tourism industry was worth up to US$4.9 trillion and contributed 5.1% to the global economy. The various spiritual activities offered by wellness tourism are closely related to local culture, natural conditions or the environment and also culinary delights.


Destinations that can offer strong local culture and beautiful nature are becoming more attractive in the spiritual journey that many people are looking for. This of course makes the Asian continent one of the most popular destinations in wellness tourism, including Indonesia.


Bali, for example, has long been a destination for many international tourists seeking healing and spiritual experiences. Various resorts and meditation centers also offer similar experiences, The popularity of wellness tourism shows that many people are aware of the importance of spiritual health.


More than that, this type of tourism can also improve the local economy. Moreover, the Indonesian government is also planning for other cities, such as Yogyakarta and Solo, to be encouraged to become wellness tourism destinations.


Wellness tourism itself also still has various problems that must be resolved together.


The reason is, spiritual healing is a field that does not have definite regulations, different from medical healing. With the increasing number of spiritual teachers, it becomes difficult for tourists to differentiate between those who are truly experts and those who are just claiming to do it for personal gain.


In addition, the increasing number of tourist destinations and tourists also has the potential to cause environmental damage.


Even though it is said to be "eco-friendly" and "balanced", anything in excess can turn out to be destructive. This is contradictory to spiritual well-being which should make humans appreciate the natural surroundings more.


Tourists actually have the right to travel to various tourist destinations to carry out their spiritual adventures. However, tourists must also be able to respect and appreciate local culture.


Tourism businesses must also truly understand what the essence of spiritual healing is, so that tourism can continue without harming society or the environment.


As an industry

Even though it has been known for a long time, the existence of wellness tourism as an industry is something that only developed in the early 2,000s. Founder and CEO of the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA), Anne Dimon, said that in that year, the perception of spas began to change from something that was 'pampering' to being 'preventive'. "This is in line with the start of the health revolution and the beginning of the wellness tourism industry," he said.


Quoting, in 2021, the global wellness tourism industry will be worth US$850.55 billion, but in 2030 it is estimated to reach US$2.1 trillion. Its main markets include services such as accommodation, transportation, activities and food. Thus, wellness tourism is considered quite promising as a future industry that will continue to develop.


There are two types of wellness tourism tourists currently developing. The first is the primary type that travels entirely with fitness goals in mind. Meanwhile, the secondary type is tourists who include wellness tourism as part of their trip. The secondary type is currently the largest, accounting for 92 percent of the total number of wellness tourism travelers and covering 85 percent of expenditure intended for this sector.


Several types

There are several types of activities offered in wellness tourism, including:

  • Traditional treatment with herbs and herbal medicine treatments

  • Facial and body care programs related to beauty

  • Sports tourism, such as diving in the sea, rock climbing, or hiking Spa and relaxation treatments, such as massage or reflexology

  • Spiritual tourism filled with activities, such as yoga or meditation

  • Spiritual journey to religious places

  • Culinary tourism that provides a variety of healthy foods

  • Aromatherapy tourism


Wellness tourism in Indonesia


According to the official website of the Ministry of Health (Kementerian Kesehatan; Kemenkes), in Indonesia wellness tourism is being developed in three regions. Yogyakarta is focused on massage, meditation, healthy food and cultural tourism. Solo is synonymous with traditional herbal medicine and aromatherapy. Then, Bali will focus more on developing meditation, healthy food and natural tourism.


Deputy Minister of Health, Dante Saksono Harbuwono, said that wellness tourism in Indonesia has enormous potential, especially after the pandemic. The concept of travel that balances the body, mind and soul is popular because it is believed to be able to improve a person's health and quality of life for the better.


Currently, several hospitals in Indonesia have traditional herbal medicine outlets, traditional massage services for fitness as well as tour packages that are integrated with natural tourism, artificial tourism and ending with shopping and culinary tourism.


The Use of Herbal Medicine Has the Potential to Strengthen the Tourism Sector and Creative Economy

The use or use of herbal medicine, which continues to expand in the tourism sector and among the younger generation can contribute positively to the tourism sector and the creative economy, so its use needs to be increased.


Jamu is part of wellness tourism which aims to make Indonesia a wellness tourism destination and make Indonesia a producer of wellness products that can be recognized globally.


To achieve this goal, promotion is needed to increase the popularity of herbal medicine, one of which can be by improving the appearance of the herbal product itself.


We can increase the use of herbal medicine by providing attractive packaging or appearance of herbal medicine, so that later we can encourage Indonesian young people to use herbal medicine that they can enjoy it.

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